Metroid Dread players face game-crashing bug – but a fix is incoming

If you're about to start the excellent Metroid Dread anytime soon, you should be aware that a potentially game-halting bug has slipped through the cracks of this otherwise pretty-polished Nintendo Switch game.

The issue was pointed out by Nintendo's official Twitter account, where it stated that it was aware of the error that halted progress "under a certain condition." The tweet then reassured fans that a fix is coming as part of an October 2021 software update, linking to how players can remedy the bug in the meantime.

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The Metroid Dread error in question occurs towards the end of the game, where if a certain condition is met, the game will crash and shut down, displaying the "software was closed because an error occurred" message before taking you back to the Nintendo Switch dashboard.

In Metroid Dread players are able to leave markers on their map to highlight places of importance. It's here where the error occurs: if a player destroys a certain late game door while a map marker is placed on it, the game will crash.

The fix is relatively simple, then, as Nintendo recommends restarting the game should the crash occur, then removing the map marker before initiating the sequence that involves the destroyable door. Progress should then continue as normal.


Analysis: Good spot, Nintendo

While this particular bug might sound like it'd only be experienced by a handful of users, it might be more common than you think. Map markers are a useful tool in Metroid Dread, especially if you're highlighting spots on the map that contain hidden items if you're going for a 100% completion run. They can also remind players of which direction they need to be going in, should they be returning to the game after stepping away for a while.

Plus, without the knowledge to fix the error provided by the official Nintendo Twitter account, it's not immediately obvious what could be causing it. And as such, players could find themselves caught in a cycle of crashes to the dashboard without knowing what's going on.

We're glad that Nintendo was quick to discover the error, though, and with a software update rolling out so soon, it should be a problem that ceases to exist very soon. 

Metroid Dread continues the series tradition of 'sequence breaking,' meaning to discover areas and power-ups outside of the intended order. This means that skilled players can bypass entire sections of the game, and grab some of Samus' more useful abilities far earlier than intended.

While Dread's level design largely seems to accommodate the existence of sequence breaking players (one boss even has an entirely unique cutscene if you've obtained a certain power-up you're not supposed to have at that point), we do wonder if the game has a breaking point in this regard, especially as speedrunners continue to discover faster, more efficient routes through the game.

With that in mind, it'll be interesting to see just how airtight Metroid Dread is as the game's best players continue to crack the map wide open.

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